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Stem Cells International
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 3924858, 10 pages
Review Article

Preconditioning of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells to Enhance Their Regulation of the Immune Response

1Department of Biomedical Sciences, Nazarbayev University School of Medicine, Astana 010000, Kazakhstan
2Stem Cell Laboratory, National Center for Biotechnology, Astana 010000, Kazakhstan
3Center for Life Sciences, Nazarbayev University, Astana 010000, Kazakhstan
4Division of Cardiology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
5Research Laboratory of Electronics and Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

Received 5 August 2016; Accepted 28 September 2016

Academic Editor: Marcelo Ezquer

Copyright © 2016 Arman Saparov et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have attracted the attention of researchers and clinicians for their ability to differentiate into a number of cell types, participate in tissue regeneration, and repair the damaged tissues by producing various growth factors and cytokines, as well as their unique immunoprivilege in alloreactive hosts. The immunomodulatory functions of exogenous MSCs have been widely investigated in immune-mediated inflammatory diseases and transplantation research. However, a harsh environment at the site of tissue injury/inflammation with insufficient oxygen supply, abundance of reactive oxygen species, and presence of other harmful molecules that damage the adoptively transferred cells collectively lead to low survival and engraftment of the transferred cells. Preconditioning of MSCs ex vivo by hypoxia, inflammatory stimulus, or other factors/conditions prior to their use in therapy is an adaptive strategy that prepares MSCs to survive in the harsh environment and to enhance their regulatory function of the local immune responses. This review focuses on a number of approaches in preconditioning human MSCs with the goal of augmenting their capacity to regulate both innate and adaptive immune responses.